To make content creation easier, it’s a good idea to have the types of content you can make, the themes you can use, and your broad topics at the ready.
These 3 elements help you to mix and match ideas to make thinking of content simpler.
Think of it as matching column A to an element in column B except this time column C is there to narrow your focus even further. You’ll still need to think of the specific direction your content will take but this takes the guesswork out of what shape your content will form.
I usually have my content types, content themes and content topics laid out where I can see them when creating my content calendar. That way you can make sure you’re dispersing different content types throughout the month rather than having too much of one kind of content close to one another.
This helps to keep you and your audience engaged with fresher content. Remember, although it’s important to keep your audience engaged, you can’t make quality content if you’re not engaged with it either.
Let’s get started with looking at the three T’s:
1. Content Types
This one is simple: have a list of the different types of content that you can create. If you’re good on camera, make some video content, and if you’re a photographer use your best (or behind the scenes) shots for your content.
Here is a list of some types of content you could make:
- Video: animated, text only, interview, live, gif, behind the scenes, stop motion
- Picture: photograph, infographic, illustration, text only
- Text: newsletters, blog posts
- Sound: podcasts, voice overs
- Engagement: polls, quizzes, questions
I find it easier to map out the order in which you create your content. This helps you know where to start and where you need to go. For example, writing a blog post and breaking it up for the different platforms to create content for the month. This is where you can get creative. How many pieces of content can you create from your blog post? Use the list above to get you started!
2. Content Themes
Content themes have different meanings for different content creators. In this case I’m looking at content themes from the context of the shape that the piece of content will take. For example, will it be promotional, or will it be educational?
Knowing the theme of the content will help you with how you need to position that piece of content. This is useful in determining what image or video to use and what your caption needs to say. Take a look at the popular content themes that exist:
- Promotional: talk about your offering and your services. This one is important to spread out as it can be a little tiring being sold to all the time.
- Educational: show your audience that you’re an expert at what you do. Think about what you love to teach and get going!
- Inspiring: sometimes we all need an uplifting quote or a heartfelt story that inspires us.
- Entertaining: this could be a meme or a funny story that resonates with your audience.
- Community: fostering a sense of community is important for growth and linking to other industry leaders can complement your message.
- Engagement: start a conversation with your audience. Make them feel heard and understood by creating content that they can relate to.
Arguably all content should have some form of engagement in the form of a call to action. Whether it’s asking a question or directing people to your latest blog post, your content should have purpose.
With 6 potential content themes, that gives you just over a week’s worth of content without the worry of repeating yourself. Don’t forget to shuffle them around to create a good mix of messages.
3. Content Topics
This is where you would need to determine what it is exactly that you want to A) talk about and B) be known for. Do you want to be a content marketing expert? Then talk about content. Are you wanting people to come to you for business advice? Let them know how business savvy you are.
Pick around 3-5 topics (you could have more) that you could create unlimited amounts of content on. The topics that you love to talk about and teach. The topics that will help define you as a leader in your industry.
Let’s look at an example. If you’re a social media expert, you could look at:
- Social media trends
- Algorithm changes
- Platform specific content
These 3 topics would give you guidance as to what content you could create. You could share content about one element, a mix of elements, or even topical elements that you can mix in as they come up.
As you go, your topics may change but having a general idea about what you’d like to talk about can save a lot of time instead of coming up with a completely new idea each time.
Putting them together
Now you’ve got your list of content types, content themes and content topics. When you next sit down to plan content, keep them on hand and see what you can mix and match for the next month’s content calendar.
I’ve illustrated how a potential pairing could look using the example of the social media expert:
From here it’s easy to see the work we need to do, the direction we need to take, and how we can do it: create an educational infographic on social media trends.
This method takes away some of the extra planning time and allows you to focus on creating the pieces of content you need for the next month.
Finding small ways to help improve how we create content is always a winner. Even the smallest workflow tweak can help us save time creating content.
Remember them as the three T’s for ease of reference:
And you’re good to go! Let me know what helps you save time when creating content – I’d love to know.
Feature Image: Canva